Among the many beautiful flowering plants for hanging baskets available in the nursery are the fuschia, begonia, ivy geranium, petunia, bacopa, verbena, sanvatalia, and calibrachoa.  Of course, there is more to choose from to combine and plant the basket of your choice! The list of beautiful plants is endless, so it all depends on color, texture and personal taste.  The most important thing to remember is the selection of plants has to match the sun/shade/water needs of the plant and where it will be ‘hanging out’ for the summer.

You can create your own hanging basket or purchase a ready grown variety from the nursery in the spring or summer months.  The most popular basket sold is the fuschia basket. The flowers on this plant lure the hummingbirds for its sweet nectar and mom’s constant enjoyment all summer!  Reiger begonia baskets in rich oranges, pinks and yellows are also popular. These flowers can grow big and beautiful by mid-summer. It is truly one of grandma’s favorites! These two plant varieties require more protection from the sun in the hot part of the day. Ivy geraniums, super or wave petunias, calibrachoa and other heat loving plants will require at least 4 to 5 hours of sun a day to grow to full potential. Check plant tags for size and sun needs when purchasing plants.

Except for regular watering, one of the most important needs of a summer basket is fertilizer! I believe that the container/basket requires regular weekly or bi-weekly fertilizer all summer! Spring flowers will require a simple 20-20-20 water soluble formula that will help the plants come up to size and fill out.

After the flowers begin to appear switch to a ‘bloom’ fertilizer and keep it up all summer. Every two weeks flush your basket with regular water to remove any fertilizer salts (the white salt buildup) before resuming your feeding schedule. The same works for your flowers and plants in containers on the deck. Garden designers will add a slow release pellet (such as Osmocote) to the soil to feed plants all summer.

Feeding and watering regularly gives you the opportunity to take time to clean up your container plants  leaves and flowers and check for any pest or fungus damage..  This will stop problems early and keep your flowers lovely all summer.